Firmhero was designed as a solution to a common problem in the field of accounting — the need for organization, centralization, and digitization of traditional documents.In order to do so, the Firmhero app and site had to not only combine a wide array of technologies and capabilities, but also deliver them in a simple, intuitive way.
As a product devoted to a very niche user type, the Codal team decided that Firmhero would benefit the most from involvement from the community, rather than conducting Codal’s Innovation Days (iDays).
The group of accountants that we involved in the brainstorming process came from a variety of accounting backgrounds to ensure that the final product didn’t alienate any segment of this niche market, no matter how small.
User interviews proved to be key to the Firmhero planning phase. Conducting focus groups with participation from numerous local accounting firms and their clients helped garner a deeper understanding of how the platform should be designed and built.
Our researchers also spent a substantial amount of time on-site at several accounting firms observing the process they followed, the documents they used internally and externally, the technologies currently in use, and the average technical proficiency of accountants.
Codal’s UX specialists designed Firmhero’s dashboard and companion app with both the accountant and their clients in mind. Due to the sensitive nature of the data involved, a complex system of permissions had to be designed for all user types.
Both the web dashboard and the mobile app were designed to instantly adapt to any user type, based on their login information. This meant that our UX staff had to design parallel but different experiences for each user type, without ruining the feel of the app.
The mobile app was designed as a companion platform for quick access to a user’s meetings, messages, files, and tasks, while the web dashboard combines the same features with client management, employee management, and a full featured interface.
This project successfully combines an exhaustive feature-list with an intuitive interface, so that the end result is a cohesive, functional, and usable solution for the accounting world.
As a platform that caters to two fundamentally different user types — accounting firms and their clients — Firmhero required two different platforms to accommodate for the varying needs of each user type. Codal’s engineers built two distinct Firmhero entities: a web dashboard for accounting firms, and a mobile application for their clients.
The web dashboard was built with a combination of Ruby on Rails (RoR) and Angular JS for the most aesthetically pleasing and reliable experience available. RoR is a reliable and advanced back end framework used by thousands of sites for its responsiveness and code readability. Angular JS was used as the foundation for UI development due to its stunning UI elements and the advanced feature set baked in by Google.
Codal’s iOS and Android engineers built the Firmhero mobile app from the ground up as a companion tool for both accountants and their clients. Advanced features include document scanning, file sharing, Calendar API integrations, internal messaging, and military-grade data security.
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